Whereas on October 25, 2022 the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing issued a letter to the Town of Whitby recognizing the Province’s commitment to build 1.5 million homes by 2031 and assigning a Municipal Housing Target of 18,000 new homes in Whitby to assist with achieving this target.
And whereas, the Minister also requested the Town to demonstrate its commitment to accelerating housing supply by developing a Municipal Housing Pledge and take the necessary steps to facilitate the construction of 18,000 new homes in Whitby by 2031, and delivering that pledge to the Minister by March 22, 2023.
And whereas, the Town has a considerable inventory of housing units approved or in the approval process (i.e. 18,118 units), including 4,123 low density, 4,925 medium density and 9,070 high density units.
And whereas, the Town has additional greenfield land inventory within the West Whitby and Brooklin Community Secondary Plan areas to accommodate draft plan of subdivision applications, and considerable infill/intensification opportunities, which will further increase the potential housing yield.
And whereas, the Town has experienced a considerable increase in the number of building permits for residential units in the recent past, including 2,360 permits in 2021 and 1,777 permits in 2022, with an expectation to continue such volume of permits into the future.
Now therefore, the Town of Whitby Council pledges its commitment to facilitate the development of 18,000 new homes by 2031 through the following initiatives/activities:
- Implement and/or update Official Plan Policies, including the following:
- Continue to implement recent Official Plan policy adjustments to increase the proportionate share of medium and high density residential units in strategic areas of the Town, such as designated Centers, Corridors and the Whitby GO Station and Port Whitby areas;
- Initiate an update to the Town of Whitby Official Plan to comply with recent changes to the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe and pending new Official Plan for the Region of Durham;
- Initiate an update to strengthen the policy basis for medium and high density residential units within the Whitby GO Major Transit Station Area (MTSA).
- Complete the on-going Comprehensive Review and Update of the Town’s Zoning By-laws, including the following:
- Including permissive policies to support accessory units in ground related housing forms;
- Including contemporary regulations to accommodate a wide range of housing types as-of-right.
- Develop a Housing Acceleration Strategy and Implementation Plan, including such matters as the following:
- Confirmation and/or expansion of strategic development areas designated in the Whitby Official Plan;
- Recognition of updated/contemporary zoning regulations through the Comprehensive Zoning By-law Review and Update;
- Development of municipal fiscal resources to support the cost of new housing and related infrastructure;
- Co-ordinate with the Region of Durham to develop a servicing plan to accommodate new growth in Whitby;
- Identification of public lands with development or redevelopment potential.
- Capitalize on funding sources, such as the Streamline Development Fund to further advance on-line portal development for Planning Act and Ontario Building Code Act related applications, recognizing the on-line application resources have been established and will continue to be expanded upon.
- Continue to collaborate with the Region of Durham to ensure major servicing infrastructure (water, sewer, roads) is available when needed.
Notwithstanding the Town of Whitby’s Municipal Housing Pledge herein, it is recognized that there are many influences outside the control of the Town, which should not reflect upon the Town’s performance to achieve the Municipal Housing Target of 18,000 homes by 2031, including but not limited to the following:
- Interest rates;
- Supply chain issues;
- Availability of labour force/skilled trades in housing construction;
- Housing market;
- Developer’s desire to proceed with construction;
- Provision of Regional infrastructure;
- Planning approvals shifting to the Provincial level from the Region of Durham;
- Additional, unforeseen legislative changes to planning and building approvals processes;
- Shortage of talent pool for Planning, Engineering and Building professionals required to review and process development applications.
The Council of the Town of Whitby makes this pledge recognizing that there is a shared responsibility with the development community to deliver on the creation of desirable communities where residents can live, work and play, not just live. Also recognizing that they Town’s responsibility to support new and existing residents will remain long after the new housing is constructed.
The Council of the Town of Whitby requests further dialogue with the Province regarding definitions related to Bill 23 and regulations thereto, and looks forward to further discussions with the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing in April 2023 regarding the impacts of Bill 23, and related Development Charge shortfalls, what legislative provisions will be directed at the development community to pass along, dollar for dollar, any savings achieved through Bill 23, and legislative amendments to incent developers to “use it or lose it” with respect to approved development applications or permits.
That the Clerk be directed to circulate a copy of this resolution to the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, the Regional Municipality of Durham, Durham Area Municipalities, and all Durham Region MPPs.